Hate to break it to everybody, but the trend seen in the first quarter’s GDP results showing that Obamacare-related health care costs are crowding out retail sales continues.
The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for May, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $437.6 billion, an increase of 0.3 percent (±0.5)* from the previous month, and 4.3 percent (±0.9) above May 2013. Total sales for the March 2014 through May 2014 period were up 4.3 percent (±0.7) from the same period a year ago. The March 2014 to April 2014 percent change was revised from +0.1 percent (±0.5)* to +0.5 percent (±0.2).
April’s and May’s combined 0.8% is disappointing after the weak first-quarter numbers. The bounceback needed to be a lot bigger to support the 3.5% 2Q GDP growth economists keep hoping for.
Zero Hedge: “Another swing and a miss for the so-called Q2 GDP surge.”